Cloud technology has revolutionised the way businesses operate by providing IT services through the internet and apps, as opposed to through a connection to a server.
Since the adoption of cloud computing, software providers have engineered simple expense claims, calculated for you, without needing to create formulae’s. This has enabled expense processes to become quicker and more streamlined. For businesses who are yet to make the jump to cloud software, spreadsheet and paper based expense claims are the most common forms, providing excessive overheads and running the risk of having an inefficient process.
Spreadsheets vs Paper
Spreadsheets have been used to organise and process financial data since the 1980’s. They replaced the traditional paper spreadsheets that accountants used and provide a summary of information from multiple paper sources in one place. Spreadsheets work with installed software and rely on the user knowing how to use them. For trained users, formulas provide data reports, however this requires the user to have extensive knowledge of excel and also requires the purchase of the software.
Paper based expense processes are often printed paper with expense details that the user is required to complete. They will staple their receipts to the expense claim which will often be handed to someone to verify and process. The costs associated to this include the paper and extra processing time it takes, not to mention the cost to an employee if their paper expense is lost.
In the first part of this two part blog post, we look at the benefits switching to a cloud-based expense system could bring for your employees or contractors.
The Expenses Conundrum
Expense claims can seem a massive chore, especially those who accrue high amounts each month through regular business travel or client entertainment. According to AccountingWeb over 25% of UK employees feel financially taken advantage of through their current expenses claims process, meaning change is sorely needed.
Most employees have experienced the pain of a huge pile of receipts on their desk at the end of the month, in fact, 18% of employees revealed that their biggest issue with business travel was the stack of receipts and expense reports that needed to be completed upon their return.
1. On-the-go Claims Makes Life on the Move Easier
The switch to an online expense system could help your employee’s wave goodbye to that dreaded day and pile of receipts. With entry through a smartphone app (available with most systems) claims can be added on-the-go as soon as the expense is created allowing fast and simple submission.
2. Fast Submissions Means you Get Paid Quicker
With mobile apps & dashboard entry expenses have never been easier to submit. Over 42% of employees said it could take them up to three months to submit an expense form meaning many are likely to be missing out on receipts lost in the process. With uploads in seconds & and many fields automatically filled in for you, cloud-based software minimises the work employees need to put into submitting an expense.
3. Improved Compliance Avoids Fines From HMRC
A receipt can also be easily uploaded with the claim, proving its validity. This improves compliance, especially important after findings from a YouGov poll showed that 20% of employees think it’s acceptable to exaggerate expense claims. Proof of purchase uploaded with the claim helps make the process hassle free, all resulting in a quicker, easier payment at the end of the month.
4. Visibility into Claims Keeps you In the Know
Employees also gain 100% visibility into the status of their claims. By simply logging in they can see if current claims have been approved, declined or queried & reply in real-time. With constantly updated dashboards and reporting it’s easy for employees to see exactly what is happening with their claims. This makes for happier employees, and a more productive workforce.
5. 256- Bit Encryption Ensures your Data is More Safe & Secure than Online Banking
Most cloud-based software providers have the ultimate in internet security designed to keep your employee’s data safe. Although spreadsheets can be password protected, this really provides no guarantee of safety for the valuable financial data it contains. Most cloud-based software has features such as 2-step authentication and high levels of encryption meaning all information entered is kept safe and secure.
The benefits for employees are easy to see. From faster claims to improved visibility, cloud-based expense claims could mean happier employees and a more productive business as a whole.
If you’re not sure how an online expense system could benefit your business, why not sign up for a free trial to see how Clarity365 can work for your business.